Infobox Musical
name= Carnival!

caption=Original Broadway Cast Album
music= Bob Merrill
lyrics=Bob Merrill
book= Michael Stewart
basis= The film "Lili" (1953)
productions= 1961 Broadway

"Carnival!" is a 1961 musical with book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Bob Merrill, starring Anna Maria Alberghetti, James Mitchell, Kaye Ballard, Pierre Olaf, and Jerry Orbach (making his Broadway debut). Gower Champion both directed and choreographed. The musical was based on the film "Lili" (1953).

"Carnival!" premiered on April 12, 1961 at the Imperial Theatre, where it played until December 15, 1962, when it moved to the Winter Garden Theatre. The musical closed on January 5, 1963 after 719 performances. A production was briefly mounted in London's West End in 1963, with Champion's staging recreated by Lucia Victor and Doria Avila; it featured Michael Maurel, Shirley Sands, Sally Logan, Bob Harris, Francis de Wolff, and one actor from the original Broadway production, James Mitchell. The show proved unpopular and quickly closed after 34 performances, although not without a cast album. Arthur Freed briefly contemplated a film version, probably with Mitchell and Pierre Olaf, but his plans abruptly collapsed. [Hugh Fordin, "MGM's Greatest Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit" (New York: Da Capo Press, 1996), 518. ISBN 0-306-80730-0]

"Carnival!" has been revived twice off-Broadway by the Equity Library Theatre (1977) and the York Theatre Company (1993). In 2002, New York City Center Encores! mounted a concert production with Anne Hathaway as Lili and puppets by the Jim Henson Company, NY Muppet Workshop. (Both the Equity Library Theatre and Encores! stagings were taped for the New York Public Library Billy Rose Theatre Collection archives.) Ben Brantley in his "New York Times" review praised the Encores! concert, describing Hathaway as convincing in the role even though "Lili may be the most unworldly heroine ever in a Broadway musical, dangerously blurring the lines between innocence and mental deficiency". ["The New York Times", A Girl Innocent Enough to Believe a Puppet Is Alive, Ben Brantley, February 9, 2002, Arts and Culture p. 7] It was most recently produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC from February 17 to March 11, 2007. [ [ Performance: Carnival! Feb 17 - Mar 11, 2007 ] ] The Kennedy Center cast included Ereni Sevasti (Lili), Jim Stanek (Paul), Sebastian La Cause (Marco), Natascia Diaz (Rosalie), Michael Arnold (Jacqout), and Jonathan Lee Iverson (Schlegel).

Plot synopsis

Lili, an orphan, joins a travelling carnival in early 20th century France. The formerly proud carnival has fallen on lean times, but Lili is enchanted, especially by a suave magician, Marco the Magnificent. Marco is involved with his comedienne assistant, The Incomparable Rosalie, but their relationship is difficult, and she threatens to leave him for a doctor. Paul Berthalet, a crippled and bitter puppeteer, soon falls in love with Lili and becomes jealous of Marco. Paul expresses his love through his puppets. Lili has no special talent but tries various jobs with the troupe, eventually joining the puppet act. Marco the Magnificent becomes infatuated with Lili, and the men vie for her affections. In the end, Lili chooses Paul.

ong list

;Act I
*Direct from Vienna -- The Incomparable Rosalie, Greta Schlegel and Carnival People
*A Very Nice Man -- Lili
*Fairyland -- Puppets
*I've Got to Find a Reason-- Paul Berthalet
*Mira -- Lili
*Sword, Rose and Cape -- Marco the Magnificent and Roustabouts
*Humming -- The Incomparable Rosalie and Mr. Schlegel
*Yes, My Heart -- Lili and Roustabouts
*Everybody Likes You -- Paul Berthalet
*Magic, Magic -- Marco the Magnificent, The Incomparable Rosalie and Lili
*Tanz Mit Mir -- The Bluebird Girls
*Carnival Ballet -- Lili, Carnival People and Townspeople
*Mira (Reprise) -- Lili
*Theme from "Carnival" -- Lili and Puppets;Act II
*Yum Ticky -- Lili and Puppets
*The Rich -- Lili and Puppets
*Theme from "Carnival" (Reprise) -- Lili and Puppets
*Beautiful Candy -- Lili, Puppets and Vendors
*Her Face -- Paul Berthalet
*Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris -- Jacquot and Carnival People
*I Hate Him -- Lili
*Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris (Reprise) -- Carnival People
*Always Always You -- Marco the Magnificent and The Incomparable Rosalie
*She's My Love -- Paul Berthalet


The 1961 Original Broadway Cast recording was released circa July 1961 on MGM 3946, Stereo S3946. ["New York Times", John S. Wilson, July 2, 1961, p.X12] It omits much of the dance music, as well as the songs "Magic, Magic," "Fairyland," and the "Mira" reprise. The Original London Cast album, released in 1963 on His Master's Voice CSD-1476, [ [ Cast Album Database: Carnival] . Accessed 2007-31-12.] features the same tracks and edits but includes some dialogue. The CD of the original Broadway cast was released on June 8, 1989 on Decca Broadway; it includes nine bonus tracks, of which five are by Merrill.

Chart positions

succession box
before = "Stars of a Summer Night" by Various artists
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album (mono)
years = July 24 1961 - July 30 1961
after = "Something for Everybody" by Elvis Presley

Awards and nominations

*Tony Awards
* Best Actress in a Musical -- Anna Maria Alberghetti (tie with Diahann Carroll in "No Strings") (WINNER)
* Best Scenic Design -- Will Steven Armstrong (WINNER)
* Best Musical -- Producer - David Merrick (nominee)
* Best Author of a Musical -- Book by Michael Stewart; Based on material by Helen Deutsch (nominee)
* Best Featured Actor in a Musical -- Pierre Olaf (nominee)
* Best Direction of a Musical -- Gower Champion (nominee)
* Best Producer of a Musical -- David Merrick (nominee)


Further reading

* Gilvey, John Anthony. "Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical." New York: St. Martin's Press, 2005. ISBN 0-312-33776-0
* Payne-Carter, David, Brooks McNamara, and Steve Nelson, eds. "Gower Champion: Dance and American Musical Theatre." Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. ISBN 0-313-30451-3

External links

* [ Carnival!] at the Internet Broadway Database
* [ Tams-Witmark synopsis and production information]
* [ Interview with Kaye Ballard about "Carnival!"]
* [ Theater Mania review of 2007 Kennedy Center production]

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